Regardless of the efforts being made to change the narrative of underrepresented females in Information Technology, a recently released report by Tek Experts, global provider of business and IT support services shows that there is very minimal attempt by organisations to create gender balance.
The white paper titled ‘Achieving Gender Balance: Views from Across the IT Industry’ highlights a wide range of issues as identified by women in the Nigerian IT industry. These issues, ranging from persistent pay gap, lack of career growth opportunities for women, recruitment bias, general lack of inclusion and diversity in the IT industry amongst many others, were brought to light when the company launched a survey earlier in the year to feel the pulse of women on their unique experiences as women in the industry.
Completed by over 2,000 women worldwide, the survey was conducted in five countries where the company operates in – Bulgaria, Nigeria, Costa Rica, USA and Vietnam.
In Nigeria, over 300 women responded to the questions and survey findings show that 82 percent of women felt discriminated against because of their gender during the recruitment process for an IT organisation; 31percent of women do not get the same training opportunities as men and 76 percent of women felt that policies promoting gender diversity in the IT industry should be strongly implemented by government and major companies, and much more.
Speaking on the launch of the whitepaper, Naama Saar, the company’s chief executive officer, said; “At Tek Experts we are deeply passionate about inclusion and diversity in the workplace and we have worked tirelessly to ensure we are a reflection of what we preach. We have implemented recruitment policies to achieve gender balance so we not only talk the talk; we also walk the walk. Our leadership team is almost entirely composed of women who have proven through their amazing track record in the industry that they deserve a seat at the table.”
“Also, the IT industry’s customer base is diverse, so I think this is something that should be reflected within companies themselves. Women definitely have a place and a value in this industry and there is a lot of added value to be gained by having women on your team. Tek Experts is certainly proof of that,” he added.
Also speaking on the need to achieve gender balance in the workplace and in particular the IT industry, Ashim Egunjobi, country manager, Tek Experts Nigeria said; “There is an absolute need to encourage women to take on more IT roles. Diversity is very important in every sector more so the IT sector because we develop lifestyle products, software and services that are essential for everyday living. Having both male and female perspectives helps to holistically understand what the end user needs and presents more than one way to solve a problem.”
“This whitepaper not only identifies the issues we have with diversity and inclusion in the IT industry, but it also recommends practicable solutions to ensure major IT companies, including ourselves and our clients, sufficiently tackle this issue of diversity and ultimately engender better futures for women in IT everywhere,” Egunjobi added.
More information on the white paper, can be found on questioningdiversity.com and can be downloaded for free on the company’s website.